Introducing internet technologies: A study in four Victorian state secondary schools.

Year: 1999

Author: Lynch, Julianne

Type of paper: Refereed paper

At a time when opinions about the potential gains and risks that Internet technologies might bring to education abound, research is needed to investigate what really happens when these technologies are introduced into classrooms and schools. This paper reports on an exploratory study of the use of Internet technologies (email and the World Wide Web) in state secondary schools, drawing on data collected in four Victorian schools. Qualitative methods, including participant observation, interviewing, email correspondence and journalling, were used to identify issues that arise when Internet technologies are introduced into the already established cultures and social structures of classrooms and schools. The data were sorted into themes. An overview of these themes is given, with reference to interview and journal excerpts, under the following headings: (1) observations about teachers, (2) observations about support, (3) observations about access to IT and (4) observations about the organisation of schooling. The observations are then discussed with reference to the literature and with particular focus on barriers to non-IT teachers incorporating student Internet use into their lessons.